The mobile app that can diagnose malaria

Whilst a lot of the innovation happening in mobile health has revolved around wearable devices that track and monitor our movements, or mobile apps that provide everything from measurement to diagnostics, the smartphone itself has become increasingly potent as a medical device in recent times.

Smartphones have become increasingly capable of performing a range of monitoring and detection services in recent years, whether it’s checking our eyes and ears or even scanning for cancer.  We have also seen devices that look out for anemia, heart failure, and even the common cold.

Testing for malaria

The latest of these is a new mobile app from Matibabu, which aims to provide a quick and accurate test for malaria.  The test is designed to be non-invasive, and capable of sending results directly to your doctor.

The process aims to be as simple as possible, and once an account is created, a home is provided for all of the patients malaria related data.  Each time the test is taken, the GPS location is recorded so as to provide an overview of sources of infection.  The app also provides users with tips on prevention.

It works by parsing light through the finger of the patient.  A sensor then attempts to detect any changes in the intensity of the light, with the theory being that such changes in intensity as it passes through the red blood cells inside the body are indicative of the condition.

If a positive result is returned, the user can easily send the results to their doctor and start medication.  It’s hoped that by expediting the treatment process, it will slow the spread of the disease, and eventually eradicate it.

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